Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Domestic Church

We, the families and members of the church are the domestic church. The domestic church lives in our homes, and is part of the witness of Christ. It's also an important part of evangelization. What exactly does that mean to the family? To the husband and wife? To the children?

To answer that it's helpful to think about what we expect in a church. We expect it to be welcoming first off. That's a big part of why people leave many churches, they don't feel they belong or that people are friendly enough. As followers of Christ, we are supposed to be known by our love for one another. Sometimes when we go into a church we don't find that welcoming spirit, we instead see people glancing over at one another, or someone angry about where you are sitting (it might be their usual spot). Sometimes we truly aren't feeling welcome, at other times it's our own insecurities or perceptions making us feel out of place. Either way, our homes as part of the domestic church should be welcoming!

Think about that for a minute. Do people feel welcome in your home? Do they feel comfortable? Do they feel loved? Do we take time to make sure our home is ready for unexpected guests? I know I fall short in that aspect, often FAR short of it. Our family and friends should feel they can drop in at anytime and be greeted with love and open arms. That's something I personally need to work on. I'm one of those people who if the house isn't clean (which it often is not), I don't want guests.

That brings me to another thing that I fall short on. We expect our churches to be organized, and clean. How many of us would complain if the church had clothes all over the hallway leading to the sanctuary? Or had dust on the shelves all around? Our homes don't belong to us, they belong to God. They are simply gifts he has given us. That's a hard thing to think about, for we often treat them however we want and leave them in disrepair, and put off cleaning till later. I am the worlds worst offender of this, and as a stay at home father I should be cleaning daily.

What other ways can we make our home into part of the domestic church? How can we witness our faith through our very lives? How can we the mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers be a living example of Christ in the world?